TNA gets Pacman Jones fever
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Staff) - Suspended Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones will make an appearance on a pro wrestling show Thursday after signing a contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, the company said Monday.
Jones' first in-ring appearance will be for its iMPACT! show on Spike TV, TNA said. It is expected that he will appear in an inserted video clip this Thursday. Then on Sunday, he will appear in at the Hard Justice pay-per-view show, airing live from Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla.
"I am a big fan of wrestling, so I wanted to give it a try," Jones said in a statement. "I respect wrestling and I'm not coming in like it's just a show. I want to prove that I am the greatest team-sport athlete."
The TNAwrestling.com website certainly had Pacman fever, with graphics and video announcing his arrival in TNA.
"Pacman is a gifted athlete and though he has had some serious off-the-field issues, he has a chance to take his suspension and turn it into a positive, something good," said TNA President Dixie Carter in a press release. "We met with him numerous times before signing the contract, and each time we were thoroughly impressed with his desire to change his image, train hard and his commitment to take this opportunity to show a different side of himself."
Jones's NFL contract prohibits non-football activities that could cause injury.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Jones is training in a ring in his backyard with Jeff Jarrett.
"Over the next couple of months, I think the world is going to see a different side of Pacman, one it hasnít seen before," Jarrett said at TNAwrestling.com. "You will really see his personality come out, not just his athletic ability. Heís very coachable in the ring and his athletic talent is amazing. He can watch something one time and pick it up. Heís just gifted. Heís the best all-around athlete I have ever seen."
Jones was suspended in April for the 2007 season by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for conduct detrimental to the league. He dropped his appeal of that punishment in June.
He has been arrested six times since being drafted by the Titans in April 2005, including June 22 when he turned himself in on two felony counts of coercion in a Las Vegas strip club fight that left a man paralyzed.
Jones' bid to join the Titans in training camp was denied by the NFL on July 26. His case will reviewed after the Titans' 10th game, which is Nov. 19.
He wouldn't be the first Titan to make a TNA appearance. Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch worked the corner for retired tight end Frank Wycheck at a TNA tag team match in June in Nashville.
Vanden Bosch said after Monday's morning practice that he consulted with Titans officials about what he could and could not do in that appearance. He called wrestling a "soap opera" for grown men and said Jones must weigh whether it's worth doing if team officials don't want him taking part.
"He has to keep continuing to take the little steps to get in good favour with his teammates and this organization," Vanden Bosch said. "I don't know what kind of step this is.
"It can be a good step. He also has to take steps to rehabilitate his image with the public."
Titans coach Jeff Fisher generally talks to the media following the afternoon practice.
Several Titans declined to talk about Jones. Tight end Ben Troupe said he would record Thursday night's show if the training camp schedule keeps him busy with meetings. He is hopeful that Jones will be careful.
"I hope it's worth it, and I hope it don't violate his contract either," Troupe said.
Previous sports stars in a TNA ring have included Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, 2005 World Series MVP David Eckstein, Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski and New York Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon.
July 30, 2007: Pacman Jones, TNA apparently close to deal